Supreme Court favors Republicans in gerrymandering cases

28 June, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Eleanor Thompson
  • SCOTUS won't hear same-sex wedding flower case

It returned the case to Washington's Supreme Court, giving florist Barronelle Stutzman an opportunity to restate her case.

The decision also dampened Democrats' case that Texas should once again need federal approval before changing voting laws, a requirement the Supreme Court eliminated in 2013 when it gutted the heart of the federal Voting Rights Act. "The Washington attorney general's efforts to punish her because he dislikes her beliefs about marriage are as impermissible as Colorado's attempt to punish Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop".

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court's ruling that Republicans lawmakers in North Carolina drew congressional district boundaries to ensure lopsided electoral victories for their party against rival Democrats.

The Supreme Court ruling earlier this month gave rise to many concerns regarding discrimination against same-sex couples in the country. At the time, American Express chose not to settle, taking its case all the way to the Supreme Court.

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The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, overruled the lower court's findings that all of the districts in question were drawn to suppress the minority vote.

The Supreme Court issued two gerrymandering rulings last week on narrow legal grounds in cases involving Wisconsin and Maryland but both those disputes involved allegations that districts were configured for partisan gain rather than for racial discrimination.

"There is simply no record of anti-religious sentiment from the Washington State courts, and we have every reason to believe the Washington State Supreme Court will reaffirm Curt and Robert's right to be full and equal members of our society", Emily Chiang said, the chapter's legal director.

Washington state's Supreme Court a year ago rejected Stutzman's argument that forcing her to create floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding would violate her free speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and would be tantamount to endorsing same-sex marriage.

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Republicans in 2016 won 10 of the 13 House districts - 77 percent of them - despite getting just 53 percent of the statewide vote, almost same result as in 2014, by virtue of the strategic drawing of electoral boundaries. Although the florist's lawyers assert that there was hostility to her religious beliefs from the fact that the state enforced its nondiscrimination law, there is no evidence of hostility towards religious beliefs in the case.

In February, 2017, Washington's highest court unanimously ruled that Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers & Gifts in Richland, had discriminated against a gay couple when she refused to provide flowers for their wedding. The State of Washington followed with its own lawsuit against the business charging it with violating the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee echoed a similar sentiment in a press release of his own.

Waggoner said that the precedents set by Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission provided an outline that supported Stutzman's side.

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